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Course Syllabus BPS 6310.

521 Summer 2006


Tuesday 6:00pm – 10:00pm SOM Building Room 2.904 Professor Michael D. Oliff 972-883-4118 Office: SOM 1.707 Hours: Before or after class or by appointment Graduate Assistant:

Text: Dess, G.G., Lumpkin, G.T. and Taylor, 2006—Strategic Management: Creating Competitive Advantages, McGraw-Hill/Irwin. (Soft back version) BPS 6310 Readings Packet: Michael D Oliff, Available at Campus Books

Note: This is a demanding course. If you are unable to commit approximately two hours of work outside of class (on average) for every hour in class (or eight hours per week), please drop the course.

Course Overview The primary thrust of this course is general management. It will be different from most of the courses you have had in functional subject areas (e.g., accounting, marketing) in the MBA program because you are required to use a wide range of business knowledge and exhibit diverse skills. Therefore, it will be demanding and challenging because you must perform in topic areas where you have both strengths and weaknesses. This course has historically been referred to as “Business Policy” and its sole purpose was to help the student “integrate” the knowledge he/she had developed in other courses in the undergraduate business program. Business policy traditionally had little content of its own. However, in recent years it has become increasingly apparent that general managers (including top executives) not only apply knowledge from a wide variety of functional areas (e.g., accounting, marketing, finance), but also perform activities that require knowledge and skills not addressed in those areas. Therefore, it has become acknowledged that there is a unique body of content material that is not taught in functional area business courses that should be taught in a course such as this. Topics such as the nature of managerial work, strategy formulation and implementation, and organization design are examples. Also, the development/refinement of skills in oral and written communication and the enhancement of conceptual/integration skills are major course objectives.

Professor Michael D. Oliff Wk: 972-883-4118 Cell: 972-998-7536

Course Syllabus BPS 6310.521 Summer 2006 Course Objectives The course has multiple objectives that include the following:


1. Developing a general management orientation, becoming able to analyze broad, organization-wide problems. 2. Integrating the business skills you have already developed and knowledge you have obtained. In the immediate future this should give you a better understanding of how your position(s) relate(s) to the overall performance of your organization. Also, much of this course is structured to simulate the job that many of you may have or will have in the near future—an executive responsible for helping to develop/implement recommendations on the strategic issues that face your organization. 3. Developing skill in using your knowledge to solve the actual problems that are being experienced by today’s organizations. 4. Improving skills in oral and written communication. 5. Developing an awareness of the literature of business policy/strategic management and how it applies to contemporary organizations. By the end of this course, you should be able to (1) analyze a particular business situation, (2) identify the significant problems, and (3) propose and justify explicit solutions that are realistic, effective, and efficient. Overall, it is extremely important to keep up with assigned material. The course will cover a large amount of material and I will bring in a wide variety of subject matter outside of the assigned chapters. I will spend only a relatively short amount of class time addressing reading materials. Thus, it is vital to carefully read and make summary notes of the chapter materials and other materials in advance of class to get the most out of the course.

Achieving the Objectives You will be required to complete three activities in order to achieve the identified objectives: 1. Contribute to in-class discussions of chapters, cases, readings, and outside lecture material by exhibiting (a) an understanding and articulate analysis of the information presented and (b) skills in the prerequisite course areas required for registration. A portion of the total effort in this course will be directed toward the preparation of “mini-cases” and cases for class discussion. For each case, key questions will be posed in advance to guide your preparation. Professor Michael D. Oliff Wk: 972-883-4118 Cell: 972-998-7536

Course Syllabus BPS 6310.521 Summer 2006


Attendance is required at all class sessions. That being said, at times, professional and personal emergencies may arise which may prevent one from attending class. Please contact me in advance (via telephone or, preferably, e-mail) if you must miss a class. No “no-shows” please. Everyone is expected to be thoroughly prepared, intellectually engaged, and contribute substantially to class discussions. “Participation and contribution” is a meaningful portion of the total course grade – 30%. Please bring a passport photo with your name, phone contact and email address. We will use nameplates to accelerate our familiarity. 2. Complete a “GROUP CASE ANALYSIS” Assignment. Due: July 17 3. Complete a “FINAL EXAMINATION”. The final examination will consist of approximately 75 multiple-choice questions and three out of four integrative essay questions. Due: August 1.

Overview of the Group Assignment Please make a copy of your written assignment for yourself. I will keep the original in my files. You also need to submit a “soft” copy via email. We will use a team formation exercise on day one to help you “self-select” into your groups.

Assignment: Industry and Company Analysis (oral and written assignment)
Select a publicly listed company and primary industry in which it competes. The following two sections, “Industry Analysis” and “Company Analysis” contain suggested topics. You should address and analyze what issues are most important for your organization and industry. However, each group must include a five forces analysis, value chain analysis, strategic intent analysis and financial analysis (as a minimum, a ratio analysis). Each part of this assignment (Industry and Company) should be approximately 12-15 double-spaced pages each—excluding tables, charts, figures, etc. which are considered an important part of the assignments. Also, include a list of references for each section. Key: analyze and synthesize and minimize description and restatement of facts. Note: Only a maximum of two groups may analyze a given industry and only one group may analyze a given company. “First come, first served!”

Professor Michael D. Oliff Wk: 972-883-4118 Cell: 972-998-7536

Course Syllabus BPS 6310.521 Summer 2006 INDUSTRY ANALYSIS


The industry analysis includes two interrelated parts. The first part provides a broad overview of the industry, its boundaries, and its evolution over time, with particular emphasis on the key dimensions that have shaped its condition in the last ten years. It establishes who the participants in the industry are, the nature of the markets, key strategic issues for the industry, growth rates, profitability, market shares, the products, financial trends, takeovers, the uncertainties in the environment, the distribution channels, etc. The second part of the report analyzes the current state of the industry in terms of the “five forces” framework proposed by Porter. In addition, the key points to be developed are the nature of competition, various segments in the industry, the general environmental trends that affect the industry, diversification efforts by participants and probably likely scenarios for the future. To summarize, the industry analysis includes issues such as the following: 1. DEFINITION OF THE TASK ENVIRONMENT • • • • • The boundaries of the industry The competitors, their market shares, and segments they focus on The products Other elements of the task environment The value-add chain and how individual firms vary

2. KEY STRATEGIC FACTORS IN THE INDUSTRY • • • • What are the ways to compete? Historically, which of these have been most successful? What distinctive competencies are required in the industry? What are the key forces that drive competition and determine average profitability?

3. KEY GENERAL ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS • • • • Demographics Technology Political, social, and economic trends Internationalization

4. STRATEGIC GROUPS WITHIN THE INDUSTRY • • Describe bases for clustering Identify “strategic groups” Professor Michael D. Oliff Wk: 972-883-4118 Cell: 972-998-7536

Course Syllabus BPS 6310.521 Summer 2006 • • Name key firms or SBUs in each strategic group Indicate direction of movement


5. KEY ISSUES AND FUTURE SCENARIOS • • • Key opportunities (in terms of products, vacant market niches, etc.) Key threats (in terms of new entrants, product life cycle, product obsolescence, substitute products, etc.) Key issues/choices facing the members of the industry

COMPANY ANALYSIS The company analysis, in keeping with the pattern that we followed for industry analysis, consists of two interrelated parts. The first part should provide a broad overview of the firm, its evolution over time with particular emphasis on it strengths and weaknesses, its financial performance, its product lines, its distinctive competencies, its structure, its culture, and key executives who have shaped the company’s policies in the last ten years. The second part of the analysis identifies the current strategy at corporate, business, and functional levels, labels these strategies, and identifies any changes in strategy in the 10year period. Further, the report analyzes the company’s performance in the light of the strategy followed and your own evaluation of the current strategy. The report concludes with the key issues that the company is currently facing. The insights developed from the industry analysis should be of particular help in identifying the key issues/choices that the company is faced with, recommended actions, and implementation considerations. To summarize, the company analysis includes issues such as the following: 1. DESCRIPTION OF THE FIRM • • • • • • Product lines The scope of the firm (geographic, target customers, technologies, etc.) The size of the firm (sales, assets, personnel, etc.) The firm’s distinctive competencies Key strategic managers The company’s culture and philosophy

2. STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES • • • • In various functions and value creating activities (finance, marketing, production, R&D, etc.) In organization At various levels (top, middle, and lower) Incorporation of value chain concepts Professor Michael D. Oliff Wk: 972-883-4118 Cell: 972-998-7536

Course Syllabus BPS 6310.521 Summer 2006



4. CURRENT STRATEGY • • • At corporate, business, and functional levels Their descriptions and label Sources of competitive advantage(s) and sustainability

5. ISSUES FACING THE FIRM • • • • • • Match of strengths and weaknesses with opportunities and threats Product market choices Resource generation/allocation issues Potential/opportunities for value creation Personnel issues (including managerial succession) Stakeholder related issues

6. RECOMMENDED STRATEGIC INTENT , ACTIONS AND IMPLEMENTATION CONSIDERATIONS • • • • • • Future expectations, trends and discontinuities Targeted Future Distinctive Competencies Goal consistency Strategic relevance Organizational capability Political feasibility

Each group is to provide a 20-25min presentation. All group members must participate in the presentation. RATHER THAN ATTEMPT TO “COVER” THE ENTIRE PAPER—FOCUS ON THE MOST “INTERESTING,” “INSIGHTFUL,” AND “RIGOROUS” ASPECTS. The oral presentation (along with Power Point slides) will count 50% of the assignment grade. (Do not solicit class participation/discussion during the 15-20 minute presentation.)

Professor Michael D. Oliff Wk: 972-883-4118 Cell: 972-998-7536

Course Syllabus BPS 6310.521 Summer 2006 GRADING


The three activities in which you will be participating will be combined to determine your final course grade. Their respective weights are as follows:* 1. Class Participation/Contribution** 2. Case Analysis – written assignment due July17* 3. Final Examination – August 1 Total 30% 35% 35% 100%

* Peer Evaluations (to be completed at the end of the final class meeting). ** Students may earn a maximum of 5 “bonus points” for outstanding class participation/contribution.

All group members are expected to do their fair share of work on the assignments. Fortunately, in about 85 to 90 percent of the groups this is the case. Unfortunately, that leaves (historically) approximately 10-15 percent of the groups in which inequities occur. Since I do not know which groups have such a problem, I will use peer evaluations for all groups. For such a system to work, everyone must be honest and fair. Additionally, if a group member(s) is making only a nominal contribution and/or is overly difficult to work with, the other group member(s) may expel them/her/him from the group and this individual must complete the assignment individually within one week after the due date.

SCHOLASTIC DISHONESTY The university has policies and discipline procedures regarding scholastic dishonesty Detailed information is available at Students are expected to maintain a high level of responsibility with respect to academic dishonesty. Students who violate university rules are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and/or dismissal from the university. Since such dishonesty harms the individual, all students and the integrity of the university, these policies will be strictly enforced.

Professor Michael D. Oliff Wk: 972-883-4118 Cell: 972-998-7536

Course Syllabus BPS 6310.521 Summer 2006


CLASS SCHEDULE and SYLLABUS All materials should be read and prepared individually before class.

Session 1 May 16

Course Overview Objectives What is Strategy? Team Formation The Context of Dominance Analyzing the External Environment Creating Customer Value Team Project Development Analyzing the Internal Environment Team Project Development

Chapter 1 Creating Value with Customers, 2003, MD Oliff No One’s Perfect but a Team Can Be, Belbin Chapter 2 Nokia-Creating New Markets, UTD, 2004 Chapter 3 and 4 Wal-Mart – Strategy for the 21st Century

Session 2 May 23 Session 3 May 30 Session 4 June 6 Session 5 June 13 Session 6 June 20 Session 7 June 27 Session 8 July 11

Strategic Intent - Combining “Forces” Bally S.A. from Core Competencies to and “Resources” to attack Chosen Markets Capabilities Strategic Info. Mgt at Bally Business and Corporate-Level Strategies Chapters 5 and 6 Preliminary Team Project Reviews International Strategy Chapters 7 and 8 Wal-Mart – Strategy for the 21st Century Nokia-Creating New Markets, UTD, 2004 Chapter 9 and 10 Bahlsen GMBH., Developing KPI’s to Guide Transformational Change, UTD, 2004 Chapter 4 and 11 CMB Packaging, IMD, 1992

Strategic Implementation Team Project Development Strategic Implementation Sustaining Change/Stretch Culture Employee Value and Human Systems 2020 Framework for Future Dominance Case Presentations Case Presentations Final Exam

Session 9 July 18 Session 10 July 25 Session 11 Aug 1

Presentations Presentations

Professor Michael D. Oliff Wk: 972-883-4118 Cell: 972-998-7536